Does your writing have an accent?

Maybe you don’t hear your accent, but others do. When you read their documents, does the accent come through?

We all judge people by how they speak. It’s easy.

When I was a kid, I had a strong regional accent. I grew up near the countryside and thought that was the way people spoke. Well, we all did.

When I went to college, a teacher told us to polish our accents if we wanted to get ahead. He was right.

Name one CEO or world figure with a strong regional accent? It gets ironed out along the way.

Today, I have hardly any accent.

Years of trying to smooth out the rough edges and blend in have diluted what was there. Most think I’m American, French (dunno!) or Russian (they go by the name, I guess).

Seth Godin asks if your writing has an accent?

“Of course it can. Not just grammar errors, but sentence length, exclamation marks and your vocabulary all tag you. And the fonts, colors, pictures and layouts you choose are part of your accent as well.”

So, here’s my question.

When you review other people’s documents, what can you tell about them? Does the way they ‘speak’ influence the decisions you make based on their material?

Flip it around.

When they read your documents, what do they think?

Download these templates to start

Acceptance Test Plan

Contingency Plan

Software Development Templates

Acquisition Plan

Conversion Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Action Plan

Cost Benefit Analysis

Software Testing

API Documentation

Database Design

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Audience Analysis

Datasheet

Statement of Work

Availability Plan

Deployment Plan

System Administration Guide

Bill of Materials

Design Document

System Boundary

Business Case

Disaster Recovery Plan

System Design Document

Business Continuity

Disposition Plan

System Specifications

Business Plan

Documentation Plan

Technical Writing Templates

Business Process

Employee Handbook

Test Plan

Business Requirements

Error Message Guide

Training Plan

Business Rules

Expression of Interest

Transition Plan

Capacity Plan

Fact Sheet

Troubleshooting Guide

Case Study

Feasibility Study

Use Case

Change Management Plan

Functional Requirements

User Guide

Communication Plan

Grant Proposal

Verification and Validation Plan

Concept of Operations

Implementation Plan

White Papers

Concept Proposal

Installation Plan

Work Instructions

Configuration Management Plan

Interface Control Document

Software Development Templates

Acceptance Test Plan

Maintenance Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Acquisition Plan

Market Research

Software Testing

Action Plan

Marketing Plan

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

API Documentation

Needs Statement

Statement of Work

Audience Analysis

Operations Guide

System Administration Guide

Availability Plan

Policy Manual

System Boundary

Bill of Materials

Project Plan

System Design Document

Business Case

Proposal Manager Templates

System Specifications

Business Continuity

Proposal Template

Technical Writing Templates

Business Plan

Quality Assurance Plan

Test Plan

Business Process

Release Notes

Training Plan

Business Requirements

Request for Proposal

Transition Plan

Business Rules

Risk Management Plan

Troubleshooting Guide

Capacity Plan

Scope of Work

Use Case

Case Study

Security Plan

User Guide

Change Management Plan

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Verification and Validation Plan

Communication Plan

Setup Guide

White Papers

Concept of Operations

Social Media Policy

Work Instructions

Concept Proposal

Contingency Plan

 

Configuration Management Plan

Conversion Plan